Feeds

HMRC warns (again) over tax refund phishing scams

Marks still sending their account info to email fraudsters

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

UK taxpayers were officially warned on Friday to have nothing to do with supposed tax refund emails that have begun circulating since the deadline for self-assessment tax returns expired on Monday.

The scam emails claim the recipients (prospective marks) are entitled to a tax refund, which can supposedly be claimed after handing over credit card and other banking details to a linked website. In reality, the replica site of the real HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) that the email recipients are invited to visit is designed simply to con the gullible into handing over their banking credentials to fraudsters for later abuse. Victims who fall for the phishing ruse risk finding their bank accounts emptied rather than enriched and their personal information sold to other crooks through underground carding forums.

Over the last three months alone, HMRC has shut down 99 websites involved in fake tax rebate emails. Over the last 18 months alone, scam networks have been shut down in Austria, Mexico, the UK, South Korea, the USA, Thailand and Japan. Despite these enforcement actions – and the ease of avoiding becoming a victim – the scam shows no signs of dying off any time soon.

Government officials say that legitimate tax refund applications are always processed by post rather than by email.

Chris Hopson, director of customer contact at HMRC, commented: “As a matter of policy, HMRC will only ever contact customers who are due a tax refund in writing by post. If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate claiming to be from HMRC, we recommend they send it to phishing@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk before deleting it permanently.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.